How to Plan for your Engagement Session

Engagement shoots are probably the most fun and relaxed shoot you and your partner could take during your wedding experience. You’re both excited to be engaged, and you have yet to endure the stress that wedding planning naturally brings on. Your engagement shoot should be fun and a great experience for you both. As your photographer, I want to make every step of your wedding process to be as least stressful as possible. Here I have listed for you a few pointers on how to prepare for your engagement shoot, to make it as seamless as possible.

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First, you'll want to plan out with your photographer the time and date for your shoot. Figuring out the right timing is imperative in terms of lighting. I highly recommend arranging it an hour and a half before sundown to get the best quality photos. Something to note, however, is that from month to month the sunset changes by 20-30 minutes, so we can’t assume any two months will be the same. Believe me the timing will make a huge difference. You can refer to my article Consider the Golden Hour for more specifics on that. Also be wary of cloudy days. If you do select the shoot on an overcast day, plan to end your sessions at least an hour before the scheduled sunset because depending on the thickness and positioning of the clouds, the sun will be gone and the sky will be dark in the last hour of the day. Keep that in mind and check on weather apps to find the right time before sundown.

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Second, you'll want to find the perfect location for your photos. This location should assist in demonstrating all the love and happiness you have for each other. Furthermore, it should fit well to your personalities and make you feel at home. For example, if you two share a love for hiking or surfing, you'll want to consider booking the shoot in a mountain or beach setting respectively. Pick the setting that you'll love and reminisce back on for later years to come. Are you two city, nature, or beach people? Are you more summer or winter people? Fall or spring? Do you like to travel? Maybe consider a destination shoot! The possibilities are endless. Pick a location/environment that reflect the two of you as a couple. If you’re still having trouble, ask your photographer for some ideas on specific spots!

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Thirdly, you have the opportunity to choose your outfit for the shoot. Your outfits should complement each other in terms of style, color, and season. Consider your locations as well. Whether you are up in the mountains in the winter or down by the beach in the summer, your clothing should reflect that setting. Take the time together to select the perfect clothing that you'll both love and feel comfortable in. This will not only make you feel relaxed for the photoshoot, you will also feel confident in what you’re wearing. Also, take two separate outfits. Consider one for a casual shoot and then a fancier one. Don’t be afraid to really dress up, especially if you’re in an urban scene. If you and your fiance are more into a lavish lifestyle, dress to the nines! Show off your style in this photo shoot. The idea is to express yourselves as a couple. This will be displayed beautifully in your portraits.

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A last, but optional, recommendation is to bring in props. Say you and your partner are both enthusiastic about soccer. It would be a fun quick shot if we captured the two of you kicking around a soccer ball wearing your favorite teams’ jerseys. Perhaps the two of you love to drink champagne or wine together? If it's an important part of your relationship, bring it along. It's always nice to incorporate some type of item to get you moving and interacting more. 

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At the time of the shoot, release all your nerves early on and get yourself in a comfortable mood. It is normal to get a little tense and camera shy, but remember that we are here to guide you and do all the hard work for you. Try to forget that we are even there, and enjoy your moment with your soon-to-be spouse. Soak in all the happiness and love you have for each other, the confidence you have in your attire, and the perfect location you chose. Our job is to get the most natural candid emotion with the best lighting. We will be capturing all those in-between moments that you may not see, but feel. Everything will naturally fall into place once it's planned out, so you'll have nothing to worry about. This moment is all about you two.

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